The City of Vernon is sending a letter to the provincial government to request that church be deemed an essential service amid the pandemic. (Brendan Shykora - Morning Star)

The City of Vernon is sending a letter to the provincial government to request that church be deemed an essential service amid the pandemic. (Brendan Shykora - Morning Star)

LETTER: Vernon church backs province’s in-person worship ban

City of Vernon writes letter to province urging church be deemed essential

An open letter to our mayor:

Your Worship, Mayor Victor Cumming

I am the minister of Trinity United Church. As part of the Pacific Mountain Region of the United Church of Canada, we are deeply committed to the safety of all our community during this COVID-19 pandemic. We believe that one of the agencies God uses to keep us safe through this time are the leaders of our community. We believe that our provincial heath authorities (Health Minister Adrian Dix, Provincial Health Office Dr Bonnie Henry) are doing a fine job of keeping us as safe as possible, and we remain committed to adhering to the very clear safety protocols that they set. This includes the prohibition of in-person gatherings for worship. As a worshipping community of faith, we currently gather online as well as in every way other than in-person and look forward to resuming in-person gatherings as soon as we are told by our provincial leaders that it will be safe to do so.

I was disappointed to read recently of Vernon City Council’s decision to petition our provincial government to declare churches ‘essential’ and so to allow gatherings for in-person worship. While I agree that we are ‘essential’ I disagree that this must require in-person gathering. I was heartened by your decision to dissent from that decision and to have your dissent recorded. Thank you. I can only imagine the unhelpful push back you have received from some quarters for doing this. Please be encouraged in your willingness publically to stand for what we believe is the correct way forward in handling this pandemic.

With gratitude, appreciation, and Gods prayers for on-going protection, strength and wisdom for us all, in Christ

Robin Jacobson

(Unanimously supported by Trinity United Church Board)

READ MORE: Vernon mayor scolded for revealing stance on making church essential